Kunkel Europe Adventure | Ireland

Our month trip throughout Europe went perfectly and was way more enjoyable then I could have EVER anticipated! I am so glad we took the leap to do this because it was an absolute BLAST!! There are just way to many pictures to do one blog post about our entire trip so I decided to break it up and do blog posts by county! Plus each country had unique things about it that we kept track of in our travel journal that we would love to share with you all so doing blog posts by country just made sense!

First up, Ireland!

We flew into Dublin because we found these amazing cheap round trip tickets that were half the price of anywhere/country we were looking at and we just couldn’t pass up the cheap option! Many people think you have to be rich to travel but really you just have to know how to get things cheap (and yes traveling cheap takes a lot of work! I had to do SO much research but it was all worth it for all we got to see and do and for how little we paid in the grand scheme of things!) and if you are like us, be willing to not take the most luxurious options like 5 star hotels or even hotels at all for that matter or tons of luggage etc. For us it was perfect and we wouldn’t have it any other way. We may have worn many of the same outfits over and over again and showered maybe a little less then we would have back home but honestly it turned out to be the greatest adventure of our entire lives and we wouldn’t change a thing!  So if you are interested in an adventure and are willing to do a ton of work researching, researching, and researching some more you will find that you can have the trip of a lifetime for pretty cheap! You just have to put the work in.  And not everyone values traveling and thats totally fine, Scotty and I just really value it and we knew that this was something we really wanted to do before be had kids so we worked hard to make it happen! If traveling is something you value it can be overwhelming at first but just take small steps in that direction to make it happen (scotty and I took about a year of just saving up and researching and then years before that of just dreaming. It didn’t happen overnight, trust me)! We also traveled off season on purpose because 1. it was a LOT cheaper and 2. It was one of the only times I could travel because all the weddings I shoot so that helped a lot on price! So thankful I have such a unique and good job that allows me to build my own schedule to make things like this happen. God has blessed me so much with this job and it’s something I didn’t think I would be doing with my life so much so that it wasn’t even a thought it my mind when Scotty and I first got married! But that’s a story for another time! Point is, God’s really good and I am so thankful! Okay, sorry for getting side tracked, back to Ireland!

We actually hadn’t planned to spending any time in Ireland when we were first planning our trip but once we found these tickets it just made sense to add on another country! And we are SO glad we did because Ireland ended up being one of our favorite places! After getting into Dublin late we rented a car, found our Airbnb (super funny and embarrassing thing happened to Scotty on our first day but I will let you ask him about that yourself!), and went to bed. We got up at around 5:30am so that we could get an early start to the day. We only were going to be in Ireland for two days so we had to make it count! From Dublin we drove 3 hours to the west coast to visit the Cliffs of Moher (AHHH SO PRETTY!!!) It was rainy (it even hailed for a bit) and was seriously the windiest day/place we have ever been to but just oh so cool! You could hear the waves crashing against the cliffs and there was a misty fog (if you don’t know this I am obsessed with fog. So a foggy day while traveling was the greatest gift in my eyes)  in the distance that made the cliffs look gigantic against the ocean waters! It was hard to even walk because of the wind but it just reminded us of how small we are in comparison to our Creator. After spending sometime there hiking around the edge of the cliff (yes the ledge was just open in some parts, so scary but so awesome.) we spent the rest of the day with no agenda but driving around ireland and enjoy the scenery and getting to stop whenever we wanted! We ran into castles, sheep, donkeys, beaches, pastures, local farming/living, and so much more that we wouldn’t have seen if we hadn’t rented a car and chosen to go on our own adventure apart from doing tours or ‘touristy’ things. We were nervous before we left because we knew that it was all on the shoulders of our planning but we are thankful to God because every part of our planning went perfectly for our entire trip. When the first day turned out great we were instantly reassured for the rest of our trip! We had spend the hours planning and researching now it was time to just enjoy!

After day 1 adventures we came back to our Airbnb in Dublin and spend the night. The next day we drove north about 3 more hours into Northern Ireland (part of the UK) and saw the Giant Causeways. We purposely made our schedule very lacks so we could change things up as we went as well. The Giant Causeways were literally added on last minute the night before because we thought it looked like a good addition to the castles we were going to visit! Oh was it a  good decision! That was also one of our favorite days because it was such an unexpected adventure that turned out to be SOOOO gorgeous. They were on the coast of Northern Ireland so seeing another coastal area was so gorgeous. The Giant’s Causeway is an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, the result of an ancient volcanic eruption. Basically thousands of hexagonal stepping stones that went on untill they disappeared into the ocean! Such an amazing sight/hike/day! That night we drove to the airport, returned our car, and headed to Scotland!! Scotland was one of our top 3 favorite countries so prepare for a huge post come soon!

Top 10 Random Observations about Ireland:

  1. There is green EVERYWHERE!! Everything is clean and spotless and perfect in the country. Roads, farms, houses, everything is perfectly put together.
  2. “Driving on the left side of the road is kind of fun!”…says Scotty but he (I learned on this trip) is an abnormally good driver and during our whole trip was maybe thrown off for about 5 minutes in every new country and then drove as if he driven on those roads his whole life. On the other hand if I had to drive I would have not had the same reaction haha! I am thankful Scotty took over the driving during our entire trip! Such a blessing!!
  3. Sheep are everywhere and the little lambs by their mommies are seriously the cutest thing ever!
  4. Gas stations are basically supermarkets which made it nice because we just made sandwiches on the go during our whole time in Ireland (also a great cheap option)!
  5. People don’t have lawns (or really small if they do), just pavement. They drive their cars right to their front doors.
  6. McDonalds there is super modern and way cooler then any McDonalds I have ever seen in the States! They cracked and actually cooked real eggs for our breakfast sandwiches in the morning and their bacon was the flavor of our bacon but the look of our ham here. Overall McDonalds is actually cool there!
  7. Everyone is a good driver and we didn’t see any cars with dents but that doesn’t mean they aren’t crazy! On rural roads through curvy narrow hills the speed limit would be 60mph. Not to mention their roads were just a little wider then one of our lanes in the states. Even though their cars are smaller then ours it still seemed so unrealistic and needless to say we drove a lot slower then the speed limit on these roads! lol
  8. Ireland is a pretty desolate place. Besides Dublin (their biggest city) we didn’t really run into that many people
  9. In Dublin there were the cutest pubs everywhere and every early morning they power wash every sidewalk and street. What did I tell you, everything there is clean and put together!
  10. Most of the housing throughout Ireland looks the same but people pride themselves in having unique and different doors. So you will see many amazing colored doors if you go there! I have a postcard titled the doors of Dublin! haha

Now to all the photos from Ireland! There are a mixture of our i-phones, Scotty’s sony point and shoot, and my big camera! Enjoy!

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If you are interested in purchasing any of my photos from Ireland for your home you can take a look at my shop here!

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  1. Ken Vaughn

    June 2nd, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    What a delightful journey you took us on….Thanks for sharing!!!

  2. Emily VanDuyne

    June 7th, 2016 at 3:16 pm

    Love Giants Causeway! That was one of my favorite parts on my trip there a few years ago!